he Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers: Yahoo Tech’s First Annual Superlatives

The Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers

Music is better enjoyed with friends. You never know where a dance party could break out, which is why everyone should have a reliable speaker to tote around to picnics, parking lots, and the Olive Garden. Picking the right speaker, however, is never a party. Like selecting an entree at the Olive Garden, choosing a Bluetooth speaker is a dark, confusing activity that no one should be forced to endure. No one, that is, except me! For this guide, I played with 11 different speakers — testing their sound, Bluetooth connectivity, range, battery life, and portability — and I waded through the noise to pick the best of the bunch for everyone in your life. Introducing Yahoo Tech’s First Annual Portable Bluetooth Speaker Superlatives™. Let’s ride this beat to gift-town.

Most Likely to Fit on Your Keychain: $40 X-Mini WE Speaker

Here’s a portable speaker you can truly carry with you all the time. The X-Mini WE doesn’t provide the same oomph as its heftier peers, but the ultra-light thumb-sized speaker will be there for you in your darkest, tune-thirsty hours. The sound this small gadget can pump out is truly impressive. Seriously, this thing is like the Kristin Chenoweth of Bluetooth speakers. It’ll play at high volume for six hours, can be charged via USB, and — most importantly — doubles as a Bluetooth dongle for speakers that aren’t equipped with the technology. Just connect it to your phone, play a song, and plug it into any other stereo system. (If you’re looking for a mini speaker that’s even cheaper, my colleague David Pogue recommends the $14 Kinivo. That reduced price means, however, that it won’t have Bluetooth.)

Most Likely to Encourage Shower Singing

Bluetooth speakers are very rarely water-resistant enough to survive a dip in your tub, but this is where the Boom Swimmer shines. The 2.5-inch-wide speaker will last through up to eight hours of cleansing and swiftly connects to whatever phone, tablet, or laptop is providing the tunes. Its rubber-covered cone doesn’t sound perfect, but it’s definitely loud and clear enough to drown out your singing along to Taylor Swift.